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Probable Barcelona XI vs Valladolid: Strong line-up touted from Valverde despite upcoming CL tie

Barcelona host Real Valladolid on Saturday night and coach Ernesto Valverde is being tipped to select as strong a starting line-up as possible.

The Catalan giants face a trip to Lyon on Tuesday night for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie, and so it could be argued that Valverde would be sensible to rotate his side.

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However, based on the probable XI noted by Sport below, it’s expected that the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets will all be named in the starting line-up this weekend.

Given the reigning La Liga champions are just six points above rivals Real Madrid in the standings, it could be argued in favour of Valverde’s decision as they can ill-afford any slip-ups now with some crucial fixtures coming up domestically too.

Nevertheless, the Spanish tactician may well face criticism, as this is exactly what he opted to do last season prior to their elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Roma.

Despite having quality and depth at his disposal, Valverde is seemingly set to continue to rely heavily on his influential stars, and it remains to be seen whether or not it backfires next week when they face Lyon hoping to return home with an advantage for the second leg.

Probable Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Vermaelen, Jordi Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Alena; Messi, Suarez, Dembele. (via Sport).

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